|• Main||• Contacts|
of and carrying away their property, as often as it should fall in his
way, in revenge for that patrimony of which they had so unjustly
Having come to this resolution, he not only continued in the practice of
it all his life, but on his death laid the strongest injunctions on his
descendants to do so, to the end of the world."
Some tribes of the Africans, however, when they have engaged themselves
in the protection of a stranger, are remarkable for fidelity. Many of
them are conspicuous for their temperance, hospitality, and several
Their women, upon the whole, are far from being indelicate or unchaste.
On the banks of the Niger, they are tolerably industrious, have a
considerable share of vivacity, and at the same time a female reserve,
which would do no discredit to a politer country. They are modest,
affable, and faithful; an air of innocence appears in their looks and in
their language, which gives a beauty to their whole deportment.
When, from the Niger, we approach toward the East, the African women
degenerate in stature, complexion, sensibility, and chastity. Even their
language, like their features, and the soil they inhabit, is harsh and
disagreeable. Their pleasures resemble more the transports of fury, than
the gentle emotions communicated by agreeable sensations.
GREAT ENTERPRISES OF WOMEN IN THE TIMES OF CHIVALRY.
The times and the manners of chivalry, by bringing great enterprises,
bold adventures, and extravagant heroism into fashion, inspired the
women with the same taste.
The two sexes always imitate each other. Their manners and their minds
are refined or corrupted, invigorated or dissolved together.
The women, in consequence of the prevailing passion, were now seen in
the middle of camps and of armies. They quitted the soft and tender
inclinations, and the delicate offices of their own sex, for the
courage, and the toilsome occupations of ours.
During the crusades, animated by the double enthusiasm of religion and
of valor, they often performed the most romantic exploits. They
obtained indulgences on the field of battle, and died with arms in their
hands, by the side of their lovers, or of their husbands.
In Europe, the women attacked and defended fortifications. Princesses
commanded their armies, and obtained victories.
Such was the celebrated Joan de Mountfort, disputing for her duchy of
Bretagne, and engaging the enemy herself.
Such was the still more celebrated Margaret of Anjou, queen of England
Page 3 from 7: Back 1 2  4 5 6 7 Forward